Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Random Notions – Has it really been a year?!?

The other day I got an email that I needed to renew my LauraSewsStuff domain name and I realized that sure enough, it has been a year since I started sharing my life here on blogger.  I had actually started on Wordpress a couple of days before, but I really did not find it to be as user friendly as blogger, so I moved over one year ago today.

When I look back at what I have actually accomplished in the past year, I am amazed – there have been more finished projects in a year than I have probably done in my entire life combined.  I even graduated from college with a Bachelor's Degree last month at age 55!  There is something about sharing your successes and failures that keeps you going – before I had mostly failures I was embarrassed by, but now, I hope that my failures help someone realize that everyone makes mistakes and they can learn how to do something right.  At the same time, I hope my successes inspire others to make or learn how to make something – maybe like a quilt!  Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!

So to celebrate my first anniversary, I have my favorite wall hanging all finished – I had made it prior to starting the blog, and I actually finished off the binding a month or so ago, but I have been washing it to get a nice texture appearance to it – I think I have washed it 6 times now!  I still don’t have it blocked out perfect, but I love it just as it is-
This was the first Quick Quarter Quilt I made, about two years ago.  Janet did the long arm quilting on it about two months ago.  I used the border fabric to bind it.  The really funny thing about this wall hanging, and this is a perfect example of one of my silly boo-boos, is that when I made it, I had intended the side with the four prairie points to be at the top, and when I was binding it, I wasn’t paying much attention!  But it’s okay – I still love it, even hanging upside down, and it is above my bed.  It is hanging from a thin piece of bamboo, which came out of the garden department of a major hardware store.  I may add a couple of pieces of bamboo just for some interest.

The colors of this quilt just sing to me – I absolutely love orange.  I really don’t understand why some people don’t even like it a little bit.  It’s so happy.  In fact, while I working on the binding, I kept looking over at my fabrics and I kept noticing how many oranges I have in there and then I started pulling them out.  I also love the Quick Quarter Quilts, so even though I keep saying I really need to finish all of the tops waiting to be quilted, I just may have to throw together another wall hanging just so to showcase all these beautiful orange fabrics! 

Thanks for helping me complete a great year!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Random Notions – The Green/Brown Kaleidoscope is finished

On Friday, I got the call that Janet was finished with the green and brown kaleidoscope quilt.  Yesterday I started putting the binding on.  I used the machine to attach it to the front, but then I sewed it by hand to the back.  It has been a very long time since I did so much hand sewing and I really enjoyed it – even if I did have a headache afterwards.  I would love to start cross stitching again – I know I would enjoy it immensely.  I just have to get some new glasses!

Anyway, here is the finished quilt- 
And I love the material I found for the back –
The funny thing is that when I bought this, I was just drawn to the green – it was only after hanging it up I realized that it has the same teal as I used on the front –
I’ve had a few serendipitous things happening lately – this is one more I can add to the list!  You can kind of see the quilting that Janet did –
Well, maybe you can’t see it that well, but take my word for it, it looks great!  I think Alexis is going to like it.

I also started quilting the BOM quilt for Layla.  I just wanted to do some simple echo quilting around the colored shapes.  The first couple I did looked horrid – the back was all screwy.  And I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t feeding through very well, and I was using a walking foot.  Then I realized that the front of the foot wasn’t moving very well – somehow, I managed to twist it out of place and I don’t know if it is a permanent problem.  Thankfully I have another walking foot that as soon as I started using it, everything looked much better.  So I am off to work on that some more, and after that one, I will attempt to quilt the fishbowl quilt for Harry.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Random Notions – The Fishbowl top is finished

I managed to get the entire fishbowl top done yesterday.  I was thinking about a one inch border of blue, but not finding something that talked to me, I just decided to use the background fabric-
I really like it, and because of the fabric I was going to use as the final border, I even mitered the corners, something I hardly ever do.  Then it was time for the final border.  Of course, there was a glitch.  See this incredibly cute fabric-

When I found this in Hancock’s, it was on the clearance table and there wasn’t much of it.  I bought a yard and a half.  I had planned all along to use it on the borders of the fish quilt.  Well, time to put on the borders, and I didn’t have enough.  So, my brain had to shift into creative mode.  I decided to use this on the top and bottom and had to look for something different for the sides.  This is the final product-
Kinda strange, huh?  That blue and green is supposed to be water and has frogs on it-
Seventeen different fabrics later, it’s together.  I don’t think Harry is going to mind the different borders – I think he is just going to focus on the fishbowls.  So now, I can concentrate on something else- like quilting the block of the month quilt that will be for Layla for Christmas.  I cut the backing fabric – solid pink – and I think I will just self-bind it because I think the pink will look cute wrapped around the front.  After that, I will quilt the fishbowls.  Not too confident about my quilting skills, but I think I can do it.  You’ll know for sure soon! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Random Notions – The chair is done… for now

Remember the chair I showed you the last time I was here?
It’s done!  Well, at least for the time being.  I really wanted to get it done, so I took it downstairs to my brother Casey to ask him to help me- I have no upper body strength having been a button pusher for most of my life, so I knew I would have trouble with the pulling of the fabric around to staple it down.

Something I should explain about my brothers and how I learned to handle them over the years.  Whenever I just asked either one of them to do something for me when they had time, I found out it would take weeks, months, sometimes years to get done.  One day, I discovered a nifty little trick – I found that if I asked them to “help” me, it would be done very quickly.  For example, I hate to cook and when my older brother Kelly was alive, all I had to do was say to him something like, “I have to go check on my laundry- will you watch this (whatever was in the pan on the stove) for me?”  I could disappear and come back half an hour later and he would have finished it.  It works with everything!  I know, it’s sneaky, but I finally starting getting some things done that wouldn’t have otherwise!  LOL

So I knew if I went down to Casey with the chair and asked his help, it would get done.  In fact, I have to give him credit for most of the project!  He got the seat done immediately-
I was very impressed with how he got the flower centered.  He also got the piece on the back of the back done quickly (sorry no photo of that).  However, then it was my turn.  I had to recreate the front piece of the back.  I measured the one I took off very carefully, but of course, I should have added a lot more to the measurements because it was really tight putting it on.  I had to make a run to Joann’s to get piping – that stuff sure is expensive!  I should have re-padded it- the padding on both the back and the seat was made up of layers of some sort of batting-
You can see how flat it is on the sides so it came out that way.  It was so tight, getting it on was really hard (again, many thanks to Casey!), but as I was running out of materials, neither one of us wanted to start over. And since it was my first time with piping, I didn’t do that great of a job on it-
And here is the entire chair-
Oh, geez, really, Lhasa?  Every time?
But we got it done.  I learned a lot about making that boxy shape for the top, which is good because I know I will want to change it in a year or so. (I found some gorgeous crinkled purple velvet that would look awesome!)  THAT is why I could never get a tattoo – I like to change stuff around too often. Mix it up, you know?  Keep life fresh! 

The chair is pretty old - here is the label that was on it-
You will notice that the address does not have a zip code, so that means it has be to pre-1963, as the post office started using them that year.  I don’t think the chair will ever be worth a lot except to me so I think I will refinish it next time.  But I did save all of the stuff that was taken off, just in case.

Okay – off to clean and sew (work on the Fishbowl quilt) and enjoy my small-child-free weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!